Pollinator Protection: EPA Actions to Protect Pollinators
Pesticide risk management must be based on sound science, consistent with the laws under which pesticides are regulated in the United States. EPA has been working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide exposures. EPA is:
- Taking immediate steps to change pesticide labels to limit applications to protect bees and to be more clear and precise.
- August 15, 2013, letter to registrants (PDF) (6 pp, 879k, PDF) explains new labeling the EPA will require on neonicotinoid pesticides to improve protection for bees.
- Bee labeling info graphic (PDF) (3 pp, 101k, PDF) explains in detail how the new labeling will improve pollinator protection.
- July 22, 2013, letter to registrants (PDF) (3 pp, 1.0Mb, PDF)
- Together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we are working with agricultural equipment manufacturers and the pesticide and seed industry to develop and apply technologies to reduce pesticide dust drift during planting activities.
- Sharing best management practices with beekeepers on the use of pesticides to control Varroa mites in their colonies.
- Collaborating with state agencies and the North American Pollinator Campaign to advance education and training modules in pesticide applicator certification courses.
- We issued new enforcement guidance (PDF) (35 pp, 1.3 MB, PDF) to federal, state and tribal enforcement officials to help them investigate bee kills.
- Working with global partners such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development´s Pesticide Effects on Insect Pollinators working group, the International Commission on Plant Pollinator Relationships, and the European Food Safety Authority to develop and implement appropriate tests for evaluating both exposure to and effects of pesticides on honey bees.
- Implementing new data requirements and risk assessment approaches for pollinators as we review the registrations of all of the neonicotinoid pesticides. These advances in assessing pollinator risk are based on a public, external, scientific peer review that was held in the fall of 2012; and they reflect a collaborative effort with experts in California, Canada and Europe, including both regulatory authorities and scientists. These new techniques will assess the sublethal effects of pesticides on all life stages of the honey bee, as well as effects on colony health in field settings.
- As part of the neonicotinoid Registration Review, six new pollinator studies are currently under way.
- EPA has also accelerated and coordinated the review of the neonicotinoid pesticides in our Registration Review program. The registration review schedule for each of the neonicotinoid compounds is listed below.